The third and final Tour de Kruger and the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park ride during the first week in August saw 209 cyclists pedal 350km through two national parks, raising approximately R700 000 for charity. The event, a four-day mountain bike tour through South Africa's Kruger National Park (KNP) and Mozambique's Limpopo National Park, allowed access to areas usually off-limits to riders as well as raised money for two non-profit organisations, Children in the Wilderness and Peace Parks Foundation.
Commencing at the Giriyondo border post, the cyclists covered both rocky and sandy terrain, with the route taking them through river and wildlife habitats. The ride concluded at Wilderness Safaris' Pafuri Camp in the northern Kruger National Park.
"The Tour was extremely well-organised," cyclist Russel Friedman said. "The food and organisation was excellent beyond anything you could imagine in such a demanding environment. "The last day was very challenging, as the route was over 120km long, and everyone was thrilled to be able to have a swim and enjoy the luxury of Pafuri Camp after all that riding!"
A cyclist said one of the highlights was an elephant breeding herd sighting on the first day, while another commented on the beautiful yellow fever tree forests and dense mopane bush, which made for interesting cycling. The Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa had support vehicles following the riders en route, carrying bicycle spares, refreshments and medical kits.
Funds raised through this tour will help educate a large number of rural children learn about the importance of the environment through Wilderness Safaris’ Children in the Wilderness programme and assist in ensuring that critically threatened environments are conserved. “The tour, which was launched in 2005, has been tremendously successful, with more than R1.7-millon being raised for these two organisations.
Due to the logistics required for organising an event of this magnitude, this year’s race will be the last of this route,” commented Heather Wilson, event organiser Next year, the ride will take place between Mashatu, in Botswana’s Tuli Block, and Pafuri in the Kruger National Park. The organisers would like to thank their sponsors – Brait, Horwath Leveton & Boner, Africa Safe-T, Bavaria, Imperial Truck Rental, SATIB, Capitec, Super Rent and many others – for their generous support.